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A survey of acute self-reported infections in pregnancy


Objective The objective of this study was to estimate the weekly prevalence of self-reported recently acquired infections in women at least 20 weeks pregnant.

Design We conducted a cross-sectional survey of pregnant women in a hospital antenatal clinic in Sydney, Australia between August 2008 and April 2009. Women were asked to report whether they had onset of a new infection in the 7 days before completing the questionnaire, and were asked for details of symptoms and medication taken.

Results 737 women at least 20 weeks pregnant completed the survey (94% of women approached). Five per cent of the completed questionnaires reported the onset of an infection in the 7 days prior to survey completion. When symptoms were analysed, 3.5% of women were classified as having a moderate or severe infection in the past 7 days. The most common infection reported was a cold/upper respiratory tract infection followed by gastroenteritis. Women pregnant with their first child had a lower rate of self-reported infection than women who had other children (2.9% vs 7.2%).

Conclusions These results can be used to inform future research examining acute infection as a trigger for pregnancy complications.

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